Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog



My name is Jimmy Boyette and this is Onyx
and my wife Amber and this is our school bus. We were living in an apartment in
Narragansett Rhode Island just like a little beach town in Rhode Island.
I owned a little shop like a storefront and sold the jewelry that we made. And I’m
like, “I could take this anywhere.” He worked as a contractor painting and
doing construction and stuff like that. We went down to a Puerto Rico and did
this pretty intense cleanse. We did it for a lifestyle change, we wanted to get
healthier. When we got back I found it really difficult to implement the
changes being in the same environment that we were in before. That kind of prompted
us. I’m like, “let’s just get out of here and go do something totally different.” We got back
from the cleanse in June, that following November we bought the bus. Probably for
like three or four months I was just working on it on the weekends and
working full-time all week long and she was working like running the store
several days a week too. Probably about another month and a half I worked on
this thing like every day of the week. It was a full-time job 10-hour
12-hour days sometimes. And I left my job. I closed my store the end of March too so
really we wrapped everything up in our life in Narragansett by the beginning of
April. We were like, “okay this is it. We gotta be ready to go for May.” This is a 2003 International T440 4E 3800. When we bought it it had just around a hundred thousand miles and our mileage
ranges from eight to like almost eleven miles per gallon. Total we were just over
ten grand in the whole build. Our solar system each one is 150 watts. Our battery
bank size is what we have six batteries. I’ll show you those. I’ve actually put
these boxes in. I have one on this side and one on the other side. Our batteries
are 126 amp hours. They’re sealed deep-cycle batteries and so the other
side is basically mirrored to that. We wanted to be able to compensate for like
overcast days. We could probably go for four or five days on these batteries
without sunlight. It’s all wired through here and it comes behind the kitchen
cabinets and down underneath where we have storage under the bed, but I have my
charge controller here and my two thousand watt inverter on this side.
Extra storage for like tools and things like that in there. So I have a 40 gallon
water tank. We filter everything as it goes in and then we have a filter on the
outside as well. It’s just a sheer flow with the accumulator and all that just
hidden under those. Some more storage as well for like oil and all that good
stuff. I built this table cooking area for
jewelry shows. We set up on here. We just kept it simple. We don’t want to run gas
or anything so just *give me that* Well the other day he was supposed to be
taking a nap and had a bottle of our cleaner. It’s just
vinegar, vinegar water, but he emptied the whole bottle in the bus while he was
supposed to be napping so everything in the bus was, including him, was soaking
wet and then smelling like vinegar. Our toilet vents out here. t’s not horrible
because it’s compost, but you can smell it so it’s one of those things that when
you’re doing a project because you learn as you’re building or as you’re like
living in it you’re gonna change. We’re gonna change these things. Welcome to my bus home, come on in. We have to like definitely strap things down in here
when we travel. Not too much, like we strap the fridge in place and then we’ll
strap like the drawers and cabinets. We wanted a little book space for Onyx
to be able to just grab his stuff and this was a perfect spot for it. These are
our little shoe cubbies over here like we each have one. Here we did build this
little extra space for the baby so that way so that way he can come over here
and look at his books and we don’t have to worry about him falling down the
stairs. Rather than put a gate up over here and take away on space Jimmy made
this little hatch kind of thing. We have our Captain’s seat over here on a swivel
so that way we can utilize it when we’re just hanging out in the bus. We have a
lot of natural wood in here. We had a friend in Rhode Island that I ended up
trading some jewelry for some wood. We traded a lot of stuff for what we
actually have in here. Table top over here. Jimmy made it so
that it flips up. We have storage under that and we have the cabinets for
storage under here too and we painted those with chalkboard paint so Onyx
could mark those up and have a good time with them. These seats are on tracks. We
had to have seats that bolted down so that we could buckle in the car seat. I opted for a full-size fridge because we like to make everything fresh. This is where we sleep back here. Our queen-size bed and then Onyx has a
little loft back here. We built it off of the bed. I think he was trying to figure
out how to build it off of the frame of the bus and then a friend came in and was
like, “you can use the frame of the bed to build off of it”, so we ended up making it
like a little bunk style and it’s pretty cool. When Onyx wakes up in the morning he
like rolls out of bed and gets in bed with us and I don’t know it’s kind of
neat. I was afraid at first because he was in a crib when we moved in here so putting him in a
bed without a rail kind of I was nervous but he does just fine in it. And then we
have the skylight. Jimmy built like a little porch so we
can go sit out on the deck up there. So this is our bathroom. We got the
Nature’s Head toilet, it’s awesome. The only transition is being comfortable
about using the restroom in front of you know every, we don’t have any privacy. I
mean we do have a curtain that we have on. The nice thing about the bus is that
it’s all magnetic so we can use magnets to just put a curtain up quick so I mean
we can block the bed off or the toilet off with the curtain which is nice and
have a little bit of privacy, but for the most part we just kind of leave it like
this and I think it might make potty training easier for the baby to just cuz
you know he knows what we do now. The only thing that has been difficult for me I think maybe because I
have a growing belly the small space and like when we’re all in here
like if I need to get over there and Jimmy’s at the sink or something like
that I can’t sneak by, I can’t, I gotta just
wait and just you know be patient. I would say that’s probably the most
difficult part is like to not just be able to go over there if I want to. It’s
like I gotta be patient and wait which is not a bad thing either. Patience
is a good thing to practice. So we got this utility sink and we got this so
that way we could give Onyx baths. This Berkey water filter over here.
Ruben thinks it’s a coffee urn. Like, “you drink a lot of coffee huh?” No, it’s a
water filter. We’ve got a hot water heater like a two and a half gallon hot
water heater that we use. It runs off a solar. We can’t have that and the fridge
both plugged in at the same time so we have to be selective as to what we’re
doing. Jimmy just started building this. We don’t even have a door on
it yet, but we needed some extra storage especially with another baby coming. The
storage is always a problem in a small space, I feel like. We just got these
little nets somebody gave us these and those have been super helpful. It’s a
constant evolution. We’re just really figuring it out every day what works and
what doesn’t work and just kind of adjusting. This is the garage, back yard, back deck.
This was key just to have for storage purposes and just for hanging out, but
it’s awesome that we’re able to carry our bike because I have two mounts, one on
each side, and then we strap our big bike stroller and just we strap it down
to the deck. She had to have her anvil so we bolted
that down. I wanted to keep all these doors working which the nice thing about
buses is you have doors, you know? Like one on that side. That actually
was a wheelchair lift in that door and that was really fun taking out. A lot of
our storage is like winter clothes or jewelry, jewelry stuff, sports equipment
of like my own little climbing equipment bin. Since we’ve been staying here like
I made a little shower area. It’s just four inch WC and I just made a big oval
shape with it and it holds about 12 and a half gallons of water. It does heat up
pretty good actually it gets pretty warm and it has a vent out. When I’m filling
it I can see it’s full, it just shoots water out, which he loves. It has pretty good pressure for just gravity fed. It’s not powered by any
electricity. Don’t be afraid to let things go. We had
a hard time. Don’t put it in storage you know, like let somebody appreciate it.
Yeah we decided to not get a storage unit and like pay for a monthly storage
unit just to save things that we don’t really need. We got rid of, I would say,
like 2/3 of our stuff. It feels so good once you let go of them and there’s
things that came up that could have stopped us from doing this. For instance,
getting pregnant again. There’s always an excuse not to move forward with something so we just decided to stick with our plan and roll forward with it. If you’re thinking about doing something
like this, you have that desire in you, don’t smother it. Just do it.
Humans are so adaptable. Anybody can adapt to live in a space like this or
live with less you know, but it’s just making that change. I think it’s easier
having somebody to do it with. And then having a baby gives it a whole new dynamic. You do things with him that you obviously wouldn’t do without a kid. Go to the playground a lot and it’s kind of
fun and we have to find fun things for him to do to entertain him. It keeps us
entertained too. It forces you to like be a little more childlike and not be so
serious you know like just go play like enjoy it. Go play outside. I hope you
enjoyed today’s episode. If you did be sure to like comment and subscribe.
@boyettebusproject or @silvertides. And be sure to check out their jewelry and
get some. I just got this mad piece right here. Have a great day! Peace.

Reader Comments

  1. where do they shower (probably not as easy to fly to the gym every day with kiddos?) & where the 2nd baby gonna sleep later on ? upgrade to full size bus? 😉

  2. I wish I had learned about the "tiny lifestyle" 15 /20 years ago. I could have eliminated a lot of stress from my life and saved so much money!!! I give this couple so much credit for having the guts to do things differently than the Average American. I honestly don't know if I could go that small, but as long as it works for them more power to them! I would love to see more of this couple.

  3. My only question is what are they going to do once Onyx outgrows that awesome little bunk? Where is his bed going to go? The new baby can use it once they’re toddling, so where will Onyx’s bed be?

  4. I want financial freedom so bad. As my first step, I'm going bring everything home from my storage unit that I've had for two years waisting money. I'm going to sell, donate, or trash at least 80% of my belongings, from the storage unit contents and the things in my apartment. I'm tired of being closed in by stuff. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. You have inspired me! I can't spend my whole life waiting to live! Thank you for your videos and an insight to over extending ourselves beyond our means!

  6. I was fine with the whole video until I saw the idiot dad put the child on his shoulders and skate board. Someone said in an earlier comment about how Americans are afraid of germs and such. The agree, however the dad don’t need to worry about falling and cracking his head open. Obviously he hasn’t anything to lose in the terms of brain cells. But that poor baby has everything to lose. I have seen poor parenting before, but this guy needs to grow up himself. It sickened me to think of that baby in a vegetive state because dad felt he was a good skate boarder. Please don’t do that with your child. Risk your own life, not his. That was plain stupid.

  7. Wonderful home and adventure. But please put a helmet on the kids when he sit on your shoulder when you skateboarding. If you crash and he falls from that height……. :/

  8. I've always envisioned doing up a bus and parking it on land. Moving it around is just too costly. But I could park it on land and use a motorcycle, bicycle, or even a small car to get around to the grocery store, etc.

  9. That’s a neat build on that bus. I wouldn’t want to sleep next to someone taking a dump or even a pee for that matter but other than that 👌

  10. Downsizing is hard! But glad these folks did not pay storage! I moved on to a 50ft X 6ft canal boat in the UK. The storage costs for what I decided I needed but could not fit in the boat was extortionate. 2.5 years later a friend came with me and we cleared it. His most important role was to say " Do you need it, if so how have you managed without it for the past 30months and do you REALLY have room?" I found so much I was storing just because I had space!
    I still have stuff to get rid of but at least I am finished with storage!

  11. You made a really nice bus conversion, but I‘m missing a shower or a bathroom with more privacy space. But in general you did a great job
    Greetings from Germany 🇩🇪

  12. I could live in this space happily !! I have this big Ass house and only use the bathroom, the one corner in my living room about 30 square feet or less is my living area. I hate having over 2,000 feet and heating wasted space !! I could live like a queen in 200 sq feet. God bless. Don't go into debt live simple you will be happy if you do it !!

  13. Iv'e watched a few of these video's. So smart and good to the earth, plus save money, live free…. But what happens when the toddler turns teen, ect That is where I fear this may be come complicated.

  14. Lovely family life… Darling little boy… Love the bus idea great building it like you wanted too.. Love the Blue… Congrats on doing a fantastic job …

  15. Question: What are their plans for when the kids grow beyond toddler/tiny baby size? Do they plan on purchasing a larger bus or, are they saving to buy sticks & bricks for when that time comes? Nice jewlery!

  16. It’s a cute bus and I say if your happy together living there go for it life’s to short to be unhappy it’s a great way to live may God Bless you all and the new baby on the way . I thinks it’s cool and good for the little guy . It’s very nice .

  17. Where is the new baby going to sleep and what happens when Onx going to sleep when he grows out of the bed?

  18. Awesome video, my fiance and I just moved to an RV and it's been amazing for us.. We love it and all it has taught us. Thank you for sharing your super cool bus with us!

  19. I love the house, the creativity but what I do not like is the bathroom (i.e. toilet) too near the kitchen. So my question as you continue the improvement(s) is there consideration to having the toilet blocked off somehow?

  20. My best friend and I are looking to do a van/bus/etc conversion to live in for a good year at least, has anyone seen any videos of conversions set up to hold two separate people? twin bed/bunkbed situation? Any help is appreciated! xx

  21. I love this bus!!! So cozy and the couple seems very sweet. And, dad can build anything❤️

  22. Everytime Dylans face pops up at the end of every video it just puts a smile on my face 😀 haha Keep creating this great content!

  23. Admire this family.. its simple and they have a small business on their is about being contented and happy together 🙂

  24. I’ll just continue to live vicariously through these YouTube videos for the next 4 years. I’m never getting a lease on a car again. I found some amazing vans for crazy low prices and I’m stuck with my current car. A high top van is my rig of choice

  25. The bus looks great and very practical. I agree that they are a living changing thing. Especially as the family grows too. I could see a trailer box of some sort hooked to the back eventually. I love the jewellery. Awesome! ^j^

  26. It was cute up until the point they said they go to the toilet next to the bed in front of everyone, then I was like, oh hell no. That's going to get old really quickly.

  27. I was holding my breath when I say your son on your shoulders skateboarding without a little helmet on his cute head. Free spirit one thing, split head another. Can’t control loss of control. Think about it. Why do they call them accidents? Because you never see them coming.

  28. God bless these people. .. all though the home bus is awesome, the greatest and most prevalent, element, of this video….is love

  29. Kinda cool but also kinda nuts. Especially for a pregnant woman. I'm just curious where the newborn is gonna go? Newborns need to nap like 5 times a day. How will that all work out? I personally don't think a bus is a safe place for a baby.

  30. Actually, it's sad for me to watch this video. Just don't get the idea that why people like to deliver babies when they barely have not enough space for their two. I am wondering what will their two kids(hopefully there gonna be no more than this number if they decide to keep living in this car) consider their parent's decision when they grow bigger. Have fewer babies when you don't have enough materials to provide for them, and that's the easiest responsible decision you can make for your children.

  31. I would trade something useful for one of those beautiful handcrafted necklaces. So many great ideas. There is such a long hall space for the toddler to run up and down. The flip down floor ove the stairs is straight genius.

  32. I don't get how every husband seems to be knowledgeable in wood working craftsmanship
    Carpentry skills 😒
    How convenient is anyone living this way not skilled in making things 🤔
    Starting to feel these stories r unreal of payed to Lie👈

  33. I couldnt live in that with a family. Lovely for me on my own for a summer holiday in good wealther , but thats it. But i'm a brit , your weathers probably good and you can live outside. K

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